Personnel includes: Astrud Gilberto (vocals); Marty Paich (arranger, conductor); Gil Evans (arranger, piano); Eumir Deodato (arranger); Joao Gilberto (guitar, background vocals); Toots Thielemans (guitar); Bud Shank (flute); Phil Bodner, Bill Hammond, Hubert Laws, Seldon Powell, Stan Webb (woodwinds); Stan Getz (tenor saxophone); Bernie Glow, Jimmy Nottingham, Ernie Royal, Marvin Stamm (trumpet); Ray Alonge, Earl Chapin, Tony Miranda (French horn); Wayne Andre, Warren Covington, Urbie Green, Tony Studd (trombone); John Horn (tuba); Walter Wanderly (piano, organ); Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Donato (piano); Ron Carter, Tommy Williams, Joe Mondragon (bass); Claudio Sion, Grady Tate (drums); Alan Douglas, Bobby Rosengarden (percussion).
Recorded between 1963 & 1967. Includes liner notes by James Gavin.
Digitally remastered by Up Light (Universal Mastering Studios East).
An accidental musical icon, Brazil's Astrud Gilberto became one of bossa nova's superstars in the mid-1960s, when she was unexpectedly drafted to sing English lyrics on her then-husband Joao Gilberto's famous '63 sessions with American saxophonist Stan Getz. One of the resulting songs, "The Girl from Ipanema," became a runaway international hit, and soon Astrud was recording her own albums. This 20-track Verve collection compiles many of Gilberto's best recordings from '63 to '69 (and, inexplicably, one tune from '86), showcasing her gentle, laid-back voice and the music's breezy backing arrangements.
In addition to the lilting aforementioned single, ASTRUD GILBERTO'S FINEST HOUR also presents the subdued "Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)," both from the GETZ/GILBERTO album, which features the songs' renowned author, singer/multi-instrumentalist Antonio Carlos Jobim. In fact, many of the selections here are penned by Jobim, including the jaunty "A Felicidade" and the string-laden "Photograph." For an ideal introduction to the beautifully delicate and immediately catchy sounds of Astrud Gilberto, there's no better place to start than her FINEST HOUR.